Can Live Chat Actually Hurt Your Business?

Working in digital marketing I often have clients request a Live Chat function be added to their websites. The qualifying question as to whether or not this will be a benefit to them is when and how this will be monitored. i.e. Is there someone that can assist on the other end of that chat?

For this example I share with you a recent experience of mine where I feel Live Chat failed miserably.


Eric: Hello, thanks for contacting XXX XXXXXX MFG. *. My name is Eric, may I have your name?

You: Hi there, Do you only sell White vinyl slider windows? Or do you sell a beige colour as well?

Eric: Hi. One of our Staff Members can discuss this in greater detail and provide you with pricing, etc. Before we proceed, may I have your name, phone number and email to better assist you?

Can Live Chat Actually Hurt Your Business?


Eric: Thanks Alex. Which City/Province are you in?


Eric: Alright, is your inquiry regarding a residential or commercial project?

You: Residential

Eric: Alright. Are you a builder, architect or homeowner?

You: Home owner

Eric: Alright Alex. Can you tell me a little about the project you are considering?

You: I need a new window to replace an old single pane. I did a reno approximately 10 years ago and put in new windows that were beige... I am now needing to replace a window that we did not do during the renovation... thus the reason I am asking if you sell your vinyl in anything other than white.

Eric: I recommend you speak with one of our Staff Members who can review your request and recommend possible options moving forward. How soon are you looking into it?

You: As soon as I can find a window. Have a project going on now.

Eric: Alright Alex, thanks. I have sent your information to our office, and you will be contacted as soon as possible.

Eric: Is there anything else I can help you with?

You: So your office where?

Eric: We are located at XXXXX XXXXXXX Rd, XXXXXXXX, British Columbia, XXX XXX, Canada.

Eric: Thank you for contacting XXX XXXXX MFG.

System: The chat session has ended.

What “Eric” failed to mention was that it was Saturday and that they were not open till Monday. So although I was successful in Chatting with someone, that someone knew absolutely nothing about the business.

Some might look and say that the chat was successful in getting my contact information and qualifying me as a lead, but all this actually did was tick off a prospective customer who then decided to move on to the next company. So when XXX XXXXX MFG. tries to follow-up on Monday with this wonderful qualified new lead they will have lost out. 

While Live Chat can be a great benefit when done right, especially now with the possibilities and growth of chat throughout the main social channels, before adding that great new feature to your online marketing, be sure it is actually benefiting your business.